DeAnne’s Anger Tips

A very normal reaction to someone else’s aggressive rage and anger is to become angry and aggressive ourselves.  This happens because we perceive the other person’s anger as directed at us personally.  We feel attacked and in danger.  So, in order to protect ourselves from that attack, we become angry ourselves. It is called anger by contagion. It makes no sense but we do it anyway.

Therefore, when you are confronted by another person’s anger, the first thing you want to do is strengthen control over your own reactions and body language.

●Take a deep breath and will yourself to relax.

●Imagine that your feet are anchored deep in the ground like an oak tree.

●Remind yourself not to get immersed in the other person’s anger.

●With a calm, strong, voice ask, “What happened?”  (Never ask, “What’s your problem?” because that is demeaning.)

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  • Brooke Sawyer  On May 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Great advice, Deanne. I especially like your advice not to “get immersed in the other person’s anger.” That’s how rage gets perpetuated, after all. Taking an objective step back and remaining calm can make all the difference in a tense situation. “Anger by contagion” is spot on.

    • deannerosenberg  On May 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you for your feedback. Taking a step back and remaining calm is so very difficult for most people. I think it is a matter of realizing that the other person’s anger is not your problem but rather theirs and that their anger may not be directed at you at all – you are just the nearest person and they need to unloan and are using you to do that. Thanks for following the blog.

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